It has been an interesting day. Besides recieving one of the nasty and demanding private messages ever, I did learn something today. The English translation of the Fama Fraternitatis that all the English and American Orders use is flawed compared to the German version (or so I have been informed).
(Actually, I do trust the opinion on the translation error--after all, I have seen some blunders when Hebrew is translated into English---why should German to English be any different?)
Personally, I was unable to find a German version of the Fama that was not set in the alphabet form that I struggle with, not alone a copy that might be accessible with the help of a translation program and a German to English dictionary by one's side. And it does amuse me that the one Order that I would have been expecting to use a different translation only has the same flawed English translation up on their website.
(One can only hope that one of their members does a full translation of it someday and allows those of us with limited language skills to see it. Oh who am I kidding---non-members will never be allowed to see it.)
So given that us the English Orders have been using a flawed translation, does this mean that our Rosicrucian philosophy is wrong? Of course, it does---or so I have been told. I am just not convinced that it as wrong as the person would like me to think it is. Then again, I am not convinced that we are even in the same tradition anymore---at a certain point, enourgh errors and differences of opinion create whole new systems.
(Of course, my real crime of the day was that I forgot to undermine my own authority by including fifteen million mentions of the fact that I am a wrongfully trained scholar---something that I am so sick and tired of doing in the name of peace.)
Now, I am willing to accept that the translation that we have been using loses something in the translation. But I am not sure that I am willing to bow down and toss out the version that the English and American schools have been using for a three and a half centuries. Especially in the light that it is only English version that I was able to find after two hours of internet searching.
The flawed English translation is the only version I have been exposed to in the various groups that I have belonged to over the years. It is the same version that I discuss with students when the subject comes up. And heavens knows that I have a hard enourgh time trying to maintain the little French and Hebrew that I know in the midst of my wife's plot to secretly teach me Spanish, that the very thought of trying to learn more German than the little bit I picked up studying the World Wars turns my stomach.
(Yes, I choose languages that utterly useless when it comes to the study of the Rosicrucian movement...is anyone really surprised by that?! If only I would have known in high school that I needed to make a different set of choices.)
So until I get my hands on a dual language scholar's edition, I have two choices: Keep using the flawed translation and NEVER discuss Rosicrucian philosophy ever again in public (especially if I want to keep a certain letter writer happy) or completely toss them out and make up something to replace them with. It is not a good set of choices at all, is it?